Impact Basketball Rumors

Kyle Lowry has been working with Joe Abunassar, the founder of Impact Basketball, since 2008. At 29 and coming off a season in which his production tailed off after the all-star break, Lowry wanted to play lighter. “It’s no different than if a 40-year-old said, ‘I’d like to lose weight,’” Abunassar says. Except that this is Kyle Lowry. Two days a week, training started at 6:30 a.m. at the bottom of a hill, which Lowry repeatedly ran up in minute-long bursts. He worked out on-court twice a day and finished with weights or extreme Pilates. Lowry rode his bike to and from workouts, and off-days didn’t exist. “We say ‘off,’ and it’s getting a 30-minute sweat in,” Abunassar says. “We couldn’t kill him the whole summer.”
Meals weren’t what you’d call enjoyable, either. They involved egg whites, lean meat, a lot of kale and many a salad, and excluded dessert, butter and oils. Abunassar wasn’t by Lowry’s side 24 hours a day, but he’s confident Lowry didn’t eat cookies or ice cream all summer: “He didn’t want that stuff.” Abunassar is happy to see that Lowry—now weighing in at a little more than 190 lb.—has everyone talking. “It was pretty sweet to see a guy at that age really bring his whole body together,” he says. “It’s an inspiration for anyone trying to get their body together, basketball player or not.”
Mr. Stoudemire, a star Knicks forward, said this month that he has had discussions with other players about starting another league if the lockout lasts beyond this year. “It’s a matter of us strategically coming together with a plan,” he said then. Mr. Tilliss said a new league would be “not even remotely feasible” because of the decades of infrastructure the NBA has built up, including arenas and TV deals. The first case study in NBA lockout leagues was the Las Vegas-based Impact Basketball League, which ran for two weeks in September and featured stars such as Rudy Gay of the Memphis Grizzlies and John Wall of the Washington Wizards.
The Impact financial model was different because the league was made up of players already training at Impact’s facility. Joe Abunassar, a trainer who ran the Impact league, said its players weren’t paid. Mr. Abunassar said he put $30,000 in expenses into the effort and “just about broke even.” He said, however, that he thinks he could have solicited additional sponsors—the initial run had two—and an Internet TV deal that could have paid the players a “good chunk of money for a weekend of games.” Mr. Abunassar said that if the lockout drags on, he could tack on another week of games with more promotion and revenue in mind.